Despite being prone to dooming you to callback hell, JavaScript can give you a lot of power and flexibility when it comes to accessing the browser and manipulating the DOM.


Jquery is a neat library that wraps some JavaScript's native methods of accessing and manipulating DOM objects and gives it a sane API. It allows you to easily access any element just using CSS Selectors, and lets you bind callbacks to various events with the .on() method.

To use Jquery, add the following script tag to your page:

<script src=""


JavaScript exposes a lot of events, here are just a few of the most common ones:

Mouse Events Keyboard Events Form Events Document/Window Events
click keypress submit load
dblclick keydown change resize
mouseenter keyup focus scroll
mouseleave blur unload

Binding an action to an event with Jquery is really easy. Say you want to pop up an alert every time someone mouses over an element, you could do:

$("#element").on("mouseenter", function(e) {alert("Look at me!")});

Jquery also has methods that will bind to a specific event, instead of the more general .on() method. For example, you can do something similar with the .hover() method:

$("#element").hover(function(e) {alert("Look at me!")});

A useful pattern for running code once the entire page has loaded is to add a callback to the $(document).ready() event.

Each event handler is passed an object with information about the event. Most event objects have attributes specific to the event which occurred, but here are some of the more common ones. For more information, consult the documentation.

  • e.currentTarget - The current DOM element within the event bubbling phase.
  • - An optional object of data passed to an event method when the current executing handler is bound.
  • e.delegateTarget - The element where the currently-called jQuery event handler was attached.
  • e.isDefaultPrevented() - Returns whether event.preventDefault() was ever called on this event object.
  • e.isImmediatePropagationStopped() - Returns whether e.stopImmediatePropagation() was ever called on this event object.
  • e.isPropagationStopped() - Returns whether event.stopPropagation() was ever called on this event object.
  • e.metaKey - Indicates whether the META key was pressed when the event fired.
  • e.namespace - The namespace specified when the event was triggered.
  • e.pageX - The mouse position relative to the left edge of the document.
  • e.pageY - The mouse position relative to the top edge of the document.
  • e.preventDefault() - If this method is called, the default action of the event will not be triggered.
  • e.relatedTarget - The other DOM element involved in the event, if any.
  • e.result - The last value returned by an event handler that was triggered by this event, unless the value was undefined.
  • e.stopImmediatePropagation() - Keeps the rest of the handlers from being executed and prevents the event from bubbling up the DOM tree.
  • e.stopPropagation() - Prevents the event from bubbling up the DOM tree, preventing any parent handlers from being notified of the event.
  • - The DOM element that initiated the event.
  • e.timeStamp - The difference in milliseconds between the time the browser created the event and January 1, 1970.
  • e.type - Describes the nature of the event.
  • e.which - For key or mouse events, this property indicates the specific key or button that was pressed.


Because JavaScript is an event driven programming language, it is quite easy to set up a recurring timer which will raise an event (which then triggers your callback) after a period of time.

The two key methods to use with JavaScript are:

setTimeout(function, milliseconds)
Executes a function, after waiting a specified number of milliseconds.
setInterval(function, milliseconds)
Same as setTimeout(), but repeats the execution of the function continuously.

For example, this is an (annoying) timer that'll raise an alert() every 3 seconds.

setInterval(function(){ alert("Hello"); }, 3000);

Asynchronous Requests

JavaScript has the ability to send of a http request, and then call a callback once the response is received. Jquery then gives you a nice wrapper around this. [Read the docs][jquery-ajax] for more details.

  • jQuery.get(): Load data from the server using a HTTP GET request.
  • jQuery.getJSON(): Load JSON-encoded data from the server using a GET HTTP request.
  • jQuery.getScript(): Load a JavaScript file from the server using a GET HTTP request, then execute it.
  • Load data from the server using a HTTP POST request.
  • jQuery.load(): Load data from the server and place the returned HTML into the matched element.

Here is an example of grabbing data from a web API and then printing it to the screen:

$.get("", function(data) {
    $("#ip-address").html("Your IP address is " + data.query);

Possible Applications

Here are just a few ideas for applications (both malicious and benign) for JavaScript and Jquery.

A Keylogger

Because Jquery gives you access to the keypressed event, it's quite easy to bind an event handler to the body element which listens for keypressed and then logs it somewhere.

The event object given to the handler contains the key pressed (as its ascii value), as well as information such as whether ctrl, alt, or shift were held down at the time. You can tie this in with either the mouse position or the target to figure out what the user was looking at when they entered some text.

Form Validator

Similar to the last example, you can hook into a form's submit event to then get whatever was entered into the form. Then using the $("form").serialize() method, you can get this data in a easy to read format and do whatever you want with it to validate a user's input before sending the form on to wherever it is meant to go.

It goes without saying that if someone were to compromise a website and inject their own javascript onto the page, they would also get access to the form input as well.